By Mark McHugh from Across the Street
My Doctor’s an idiot. A few years ago, he started expressing concerns about my weight, pointing at this chart supposedly showing how much a man of my height should weigh. One glance at his stupid chart and it was clear to me that he had completely misdiagnosed my condition. There was nothing wrong with my weight, I just wasn’t tall enough. Clearly I needed to grow my way out of this. So I went home and googled “how to stimulate growth.” Once I got past the all the baldness cures and penis pumps (it’s not my bag, baby), I found hundreds of papers so incredibly boring I knew they had to be true. In no time, I was able to design and implement my own stimulus plan based on the irrefutable scientificky principles of Nobel prize winners and other people so smart they never had to do an honest day’s work in their lives. Despite the difficulty climbing stairs, I was feeling pretty good about things until my last check-up….
“Hi,” he said, examining my file. He looked up, “You’ve put on twenty pounds since the last time I saw you”
“Thanks for noticing,” I beamed.
He frowned. “I remember now. You’re the guy on the diet designed to make you grow. What’s that called again?”
“The Keynesian Plan.”
“Is that the one where you eat bacon and cheese, but not vegetables?”
“No,” I replied, “But I have incorporated some elements of that plan” (I don’t like vegetables).
“And how’s this whole Keynesian thing working out?” he asked.
“I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed. I’ve only grown and inch and a half so far, but..”
“No you haven’t,” he interrupted, pointing, “You’ve just got those stupid elevator wedges in your shoes to make you look taller.”
“They’re to get me acclimated to being taller.”
“Which you’re not,” he declared. “I told you, you’re fully grown. The only thing you’ve succeeded in doing is collapsing you arches and giving yourself Type 2 Diabetes.”
“We Keynesians call things like that “unintended consequences” (I used finger-quotes to let him know it was a technical term). And trust me, Doc, I’m no happier about them than you. Can I see that height-weight chart of yours again?”
He handed me the chart. After a moment, I sighed, “Looks like I’ll have to do more QE.”
“Quantitative eating. It’s how you stimulate growth, Doc. It’s technical.”
“Oh,” he said. “Because it sounds an awful lot like what we in the medical profession call “stuffing your fat face” (giving me finger-quotes, but in a condescending, not-at-all-helpful kind of way).”
I tried to stay calm and empathize. “Doc, it’s not your fault you haven’t been educated about Keynesian principles. They only teach it at top-notch schools like M.I.T. and Harvard. I don’t know about you, Doc, but I feel better knowing that no matter what happens on election day, the White House will be occupied by someone who attended Harvard.”
“As did the Unabomber,” he added.
“Still better than the bumblef**k medical school you went to!” I snapped.
“Johns Hopkins?” he queried, thrusting his eyebrows up.
“John Hopkins.” I corrected (Friggin’ Idiot!)
“Tell me, how are you paying for all this stimulus?”
“Food Stamps…and my ex-wife’s credit card.” (I just knew he wasn’t going to understand this part…)
He looked at me with a curious mixture of confusion and utter disgust. “What….Does she even know?”
“I’m no Dr. Bernanke, but I know one of the most important aspects of Keynesian stimulus is sticking someone else with the bill. It works out better for everyone if the victim, er , stimulus provider is unaware. She’ll be OK. I’m going to make it all up to her.”
“Look at your damn chart, Doc!” I bellowed. “I’m going to be taller than Shaq when all this stimulus kicks in! Can you say NBA contract?“
“No,” he said, unimpressed, “just over-sized casket.”
(I could tell he was about to launch into another one of his “austerity” sermons. You know, “Consume less, do more, stop spending other people’s money, blah-blah-blah.” Pinhead. Obviously Dr. Quackenstein was beyond all hope.)
“No offense Doc, but I need help from people with a better understanding of these things. Any chance you can refer me to the Mayo clinic?”
“Is that where the treat illness with mayonnaise?”
“Yes,” I said.
“No,” he said, and walked out.
As I sat down to rest in the lobby on the way back to my car, I remembered that the key ingredient to the Keynesian system is confidence and realized that what I was feeling, beside the tingling sensation in my left arm, was nothing more than the sting of rejection felt by true visionaries like Jon Corzine and the Octomom.
So if anyone asks, I’m at the grocery store.